What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (Paperback)

What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump Cover Image
By Martín Espada (Editor), Julia Alvarez (Contributions by), Doug Anderson (Contributions by), Naomi Ayala (Contributions by), Benjamin Balthaser (Contributions by), Sean Bates (Contributions by), Jan Beatty (Contributions by), Tara Betts (Contributions by), Richard Blanco (Contributions by), Rafael Campo (Contributions by), Cyrus Cassells (Contributions by), Hayan Charara (Contributions by), Chen Chen (Contributions by), Brian Clements (Contributions by), Jim Daniels (Contributions by), Kwame Dawes (Contributions by), Chard deNiord (Contributions by), Cynthia Dewi Oka (Contributions by), Dante DiStefano (Contributions by), Kathy Engle (Contributions by), George Evans (Contributions by), Tarfia Faizullah (Contributions by), Dr. Carolyn Forché (Contributions by), Denice Frohman (Contributions by), Danielle Legros Georges (Contributions by), Aracelis Girmay (Contributions by), Ruth Goring (Contributions by), Adam Grabowski (Contributions by), Laurie Anne Guerrero (Contributions by), Sam Hamill (Contributions by), Samuel Hazo (Contributions by), Juan Felipe Herrera (Contributions by), Jane Hirshfield (Contributions by), Everett Hoagland (Contributions by), Lawrence Joseph (Contributions by), Yusef Komunyakaa (Contributions by), Dorianne Laux (Contributions by), Paul Mariani (Contributions by), Demetria Martínez (Contributions by), Paul Martínez Pompa (Contributions by), Julio Marzán (Contributions by), Maria Mazziotti Gillan (Contributions by), Marty McConnell (Contributions by), Leslie McGrath (Contributions by), Richard Michelson (Contributions by), E. Ethelbert Miller (Contributions by), Kamilah Aisha Moon (Contributions by), David Mura (Contributions by), John Murillo (Contributions by), Maria Nazos (Contributions by), Marilyn Nelson (Contributions by), Naomi Shihab Nye (Contributions by), Alicia Suskin Ostriker (Contributions by), Willie Perdomo (Contributions by), Emmy Peréz (Contributions by), Marge Piercy (Contributions by), Sasha Pimentel (Contributions by), Robert Pinsky (Contributions by), Gabriel Ramírez (Contributions by), Luivette Resto (Contributions by), Peggy Robles-Alvarado (Contributions by), Luis J. Rodríguez (Contributions by), William Pitt Root (Contributions by), Patrick Rosal (Contributions by), Joseph Ross (Contributions by), Nicholas Samaras (Contributions by), Ruth Irupé Sanabria (Contributions by), Lauren Schmidt (Contributions by), Tim Seibles (Contributions by), Katherine DiBella Seluja (Contributions by), Don Share (Contributions by), Patricia Smith (Contributions by), Gary Soto (Contributions by), Mark Turcotte (Contributions by), Brian Turner (Contributions by), Chase Twichell (Contributions by), Pamela Uschuk (Contributions by), Elisabet Velasquez (Contributions by), Richard Villar (Contributions by), Ocean Vuong (Contributions by), George Wallace (Contributions by), Afaa M. Weaver (Contributions by), Eleanor Wilner (Contributions by), Daisy Zamora (Contributions by), Danez Smith (Contributions by), Elizabeth Alexander (Contributions by), Marcelo Hernández Castillo (Contributions by), Brenda Marie Osbey (Contributions by), Donald Hall (Contributions by), Bruce Weigl (Contributions by), Ricardo Alberto Maldonado (Contributions by), torrin a. greathouse (Contributions by), Adrian Louis (Contributions by)
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Description


This is an anthology of poems in the Age of Trump—and much more than Trump. These are poems that either embody or express a sense of empathy or outrage, both prior to and following his election, since it is empathy the president lacks and outrage he provokes.

There is an extraordinary diversity of voices here. The ninety-three poets featured include Elizabeth Alexander, Julia Alvarez, Richard Blanco, Carolyn Forché, Aracelis Girmay, Donald Hall, Juan Felipe Herrera, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, Danez Smith, Patricia Smith, Brian Turner, Ocean Vuong, Bruce Weigl, and Eleanor Wilner. They speak of persecuted and scapegoated immigrants. They bear witness to violence: police brutality against African Americans, mass shootings in a school or synagogue, the rage inflicted on women everywhere. They testify to poverty: the waitress surviving on leftovers at the restaurant, the battles of a teacher in a shelter for homeless mothers, the emergency-room doctor listening to the heartbeats of his patients. There are voices of labor, in the factory and the fields. There are prophetic voices, imploring us to imagine the world we will leave behind in ruins lest we speak and act.

However, this is not merely a collection of grievances. The poets build bridges. One poet steps up to translate in Arabic at the airport; another walks through the city and sees her immigrant past in the immigrant present; another declaims a musical manifesto after the hurricane that devastated his island; another evokes a demonstration in the street, shouting in an ecstasy of defiance. The poets take back the language, resisting the demagogic corruption of words themselves. They assert our common humanity in the face of dehumanization.

About the Author


MARTÍN ESPADA has published almost twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His latest collection of poems is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed. He is the recipient of the 2018 Ruth Lilly Prize, and the editor of the groundbreaking anthology Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination from Curbstone Press.

Praise For…


"Far more than a protest anthology, Martin Espada’s What Saves Us brings together portraits of Trump’s enablers with the myriad voices of the lost, abandoned, and marginalized. These stories of immigrants, minimum wage workers, alcoholics, victims, broken angels, and dreamers redeem their lives and install their voices in our hearts."

—Cary Nelson, author of Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left

"Poet Martín Espada has put together a potent, moving anthology of poetry . . ." —Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe

"In the poem by Bruce Weigl that gives the collection its title, 'What Saves Us,' he writes that 'We are not always right about what we think will save us.' But the heart of this anthology is that it is clearly telling us what will not save us: our silence. Jane Hirshfield asks in her poem, 'Let Them Not Say,' that difficult question that has been heard more and more in the past four years and will be asked by generations that come after us: When it was happening, what did you do about it?" —Kenneth Ronkowitz, Paterson Literary Review

"Direct, colloquial and unironic, these poems speak from and for the communities that reflect the unstoppable diversification of US society, by asserting a common humanity in the face of dehumanization." —Andy Croft, Morning Star
Product Details
ISBN: 9780810140776
ISBN-10: 0810140772
Publisher: Curbstone Books 2
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 288